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George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876)

George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876)


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George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876)

Custer’s last stand and defeat is one of the most famous military blunders in history, yet compared with most events in military history it is a very small affair with a mere 250 dead, but it is as well known to most people as the D Day landings, or the battle of Waterloo. Custer was born 5th December 1839 near New Rumley Ohio and entered the West Point military academy in July 1857. In a shadow of things to come his West Point career was filled with demerits and near dismissals. With many of his class mates heading south for commissions in the Confederate cause (American Civil War) he passed out last in his class of 34 in June 1861 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US 2nd Cavalry.

Civil War service

He was present at the First Battle of Bull Run but did not see action. He transferred in August to the 5th Cavalry and was promoted to a 1st Lieutenant in July 1862. Since the June he had been an aide to General McClellan with the acting rank of captain and he remained as the Generals aide until March 1863. In June 1863 he was made Brigadier-General of volunteers while he was only 23. He distinguished himself while in command of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade at the battle of Gettysburg and leading a cavalry charge 2 days later with the 7th Michigan Cavalry. In typical Custer style he described this by saying “ I challenge the annals of war to produce a more brilliant charge of cavalry” Custer served with the Army of the Potomac throughout 1864 and gained further renown during the battles of the Shenandoah Valley. He ended the civil war as a major general of volunteers leading a cavalry division. He was an over the top character who loved publicity and gained more than other more accomplished officers, the press for their part loved him a young showman with long red hair and a taste for velvet jackets with gold braid he would not have been out of place in Napoleon's cavalry of half a century earlier. Already he was autocratic and a dictatorial leader, who had risen so quickly through the ranks he had had little time to learn from his mistakes, although his incredible arrogance would have probably prevented him recognising any mistakes as his own.

Post War service

Custer’s first post war command ended when his Michigan Cavalry was disbanded after a mutiny, which was partly caused by his heavy-handed discipline. Many volunteer units were pushing for disbandment but Custer had reintroduced the lash as a form of discipline. He mustered out of voluntary service in Feb 1866 and reverted to his army rank of captain but he still liked to be referred to as General Custer. He made some moves to becoming the Commander of the Mexican cavalry and was offered but refused command of the 9th Negro Cavalry and in July 1866 took command as a Lt-Colonel of the newly formed 7th Cavalry, its Colonels being mainly on detached duties.

In early 1867 while on a recon mission Custer’s behaviour led to a courts martial and he was found guilty of absenting himself from his command, and using some troopers as an escort while on unofficial business, abandoning two men reported killed on the march and failing to pursue the Indians responsible, failing recover the bodies, and ordering a party going after deserters to shoot to kill which resulted in 1 death and 3 wounded, and finally unjustifiable cruelty to those wounded. He was sentenced to suspension from rank and pay for a year, but a lack of a replacement meant he was returned to duty early. The incident caused much bad feeling among the regiment’s officers for several years. The regiment saw minor skirmishes against the native Indians for the next few years. Custer didn’t see any action but published exaggerated accounts of the 7th cavalry’s actions. In November 1868 the 7th cavalry fought at the battle of Washita during which over a hundred Indians were killed including some women and children which the Cheyenne nicknamed Custer ‘Squaw killer” for. Custer’s incompetence led to some deaths during the campaign, which also increased ill feeling towards him.

In spring 1873 the Regiment was moved to Dakota under command of Col D.S Stanley at fort Rice. While protecting some railway engineers the regiment skirmished with local Indians and during these Custer was charged with insubordination but his friends persuaded the Col to drop the charges. In 1874 a ‘Scientific’ expedition was sent to the Black Hill country with Custer leading the escort of ten companies of the 7th, some infantry and scouts and a detachment of Gatling guns. He was charged with recon of a site for a new fort by the size of his force suggests another agenda. Some have accused Custer of spreading stories of a gold find and although the force was too strong the Indians attacked the gaggle of lawless prospectors that followed. In 1875 the government tried to get the Indians to sell the area but by 1876 this had been abandoned and a military campaign was planned. The attacks on the trespassing prospectors were used as an excuse and the campaign was under General A Terry with Custer commanding the whole of the 7th Cavalry 600 men.

Custer had command only because of Terry’s support; he was in disgrace again having offended President (former General) Grant, Army Commander General William Sherman and his division commander Sheridan. The allegations are complex but centred around irregularities in trading post allocation. Custer always looking for publicity had repeated rumours and hearsay to the press but was found to know nothing under oath. The battle of Little Big Horn will be covered in detail elsewhere but basically Custer was ordered specifically to continue south to prevent any break out of Indian forces under Crazy horse as two main armies tried to trap them. On 24th June Custer found the enemies trail lead towards Little Big Horn and typically he choose not to follow orders. On the 25th he could see the Indians in the valley below probably around 15,000 strong, he then decided to split his force into 3 and attack the encampment from three directions. Considering the size of the enemy force this was pure lunacy. The other two parts of his attack were driven back but made it to the safety of high ground to be relieved by the main force the next day. Custer’s force was cut off and slaughtered by Crazy Horse’s Sioux.

Custer’s actions that day were typical of one of the worse commanders in history, and typical of his glory seeking, arrogant incompetent character. He had risen to a position of power due to friends and supporters at a time when in the aftermath of the American Civil war the press wanted a hero and the Army had a shortage of good commanders. Custer would have been pleased his name went down in history but this is little comfort to the families of those that died to serve his glory.


George Armstrong Custer

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George Armstrong Custer, (born December 5, 1839, New Rumley, Ohio, U.S.—died June 25, 1876, Little Bighorn River, Montana Territory), U.S. cavalry officer who distinguished himself in the American Civil War (1861–65) but later led his men to death in one of the most controversial battles in U.S. history, the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Why was George Armstrong Custer important?

George Armstrong Custer was a Union cavalry officer in the American Civil War (1861–65) and a U.S. commander in wars against Native Americans over control of the Great Plains. He led his men in one of U.S. history's most controversial battles, the Battle of the Little Bighorn, on June 25, 1876.

Who was George Armstrong Custer married to?

George Armstrong Custer was married to Elizabeth (Libbie) Bacon Custer in her hometown of Monroe, Michigan. They wed on February 9, 1864.

How did George Armstrong Custer die?

George Armstrong Custer was found with two bullet wounds—one in his chest and one in front of his left temple—either of which could have killed him. He died on June 25, 1876, along with all of his soldiers, while leading an attack against Indians camped near Montana's Little Bighorn River during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

What did George Armstrong Custer accomplish?

Although George Armstrong Custer was considered a hero by many Americans after the Battle of the Little Bighorn, his image changed in the latter half of the 20th century from gallant Indian fighter to bloodthirsty Indian killer. Most historians see Custer as neither a hero nor a villain, though his final battle remains a subject of intense controversy.

Although born in Ohio, Custer spent part of his youth in the home of his half sister and brother-in-law in Monroe, Michigan. After graduating from McNeely Normal School (later Hopedale Normal College) in Ohio in 1856, he taught school before matriculating at the U.S. Military Academy, from which he graduated last in his class in June 1861. Having entered the army as a second lieutenant at the start of the Civil War, Custer saw action at the First Battle of Bull Run (July 21, 1861). Later, catching the eye of Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, the commander of the Union Army of the Potomac, Custer joined that important officer’s staff and developed contacts with many senior commanders. In 1863, at age 23, he became a brigadier general of U.S. Volunteers, leading the Michigan Cavalry Brigade, which consisted of four regiments from his adopted home state. Dubbed the “Boy General,” Custer distinguished himself in numerous encounters, including the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1–3, 1863), the Battle of Yellow Tavern (May 11, 1864), and the Third Battle of Winchester (September 19, 1864), which led to his rise to division command and promotion to major general before he turned age 25. During the closing days of the war, his relentless pursuit of the Army of Northern Virginia and Gen. Robert E. Lee helped to hasten their surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9, 1865.


George Armstrong Custer

Custer was the hero of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Or was he merely an arrogant fame-seeker?

GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER
George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876) was a celebrity in his own lifetime, thanks to his dashing appearance, undoubted physical bravery and talent for self-promotion. When he died alongside his men while battling an overwhelming Indian force he became a legend. Was this all-American hero everything he seemed?

The Myth Custer was the hero of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Or was he merely an arrogant fame-seeker?

The Only Way Is Up
Custer's military career didn't start well. In 1861, he graduated from the West Point military academy at the bottom of his class. But the American Civil War had begun and Union generals were desperate to recruit officers. Custer soon found himself on the battlefield, where he distinguished himself as an aggressive, if sometimes reckless, cavalry commander. Aged just 23, successive field promotions had earned him the temporary rank of brigadier general.

Custer stood out for another reason: he had begun to dress extravagantly. His uniform was trimmed with gold, he wore a red necktie and a white, wide-brimmed hat. Later, he adopted the buckskin tunic of a frontiersman. He declared that he always wanted to be recognisable to his men.

FREE SPIRIT
A year after the war ended in 1865, Custer became a lieutenant colonel in the regular army's 7th Cavalry Regiment. In 1867, while serving in Kansas, he was court-martialled for making an unauthorised visit to his wife, Elizabeth (pictured, left). The authorities suspended him but he was back in the traces a year later because things were hotting up in the U.S. military's campaign to subdue Native American tribes.

U.S. policy towards Native Americans during this period was at best confused. Many have called it downright dishonest. In 1868, the government signed a treaty guaranteeing Sioux Indians undisturbed use of the Black Hills in South Dakota. The Sioux regarded this region as sacred. Yet, in 1874, Custer led an expedition to the Black Hills, reporting that they contained gold. A gold rush began and the stage was set for confrontation.

SEEKING BATTLE
The government ordered that all Indians had to leave the area and move to reservations by January 31, 1876. In June 1876, Custer was sent to the Little Bighorn River, north-west of the Black Hills. Here, he and his men were to form one half of a two-pronged attack against a camp that included several Native American tribes and was led by the Sioux Chief Sitting Bull (pictured, left). Late on June 24, Custer arrived within striking distance of the camp, which lay across the river, a few miles to the north. The other force was still two days away but Custer decided to attack anyway.

The following day, Custer split his force of around 650 men into three columns, leaving a fourth detachment to guard the pack animals. He ordered the first column to reconnoitre south of the village. The second was to attack the village from the south. Custer's column was to advance northwards and then turn west to attack the village.

LAST STAND
The plan rapidly unravelled. Custer had underestimated the size of the village and the fighting spirit of its warriors. The southern attack force was overwhelmed by hundreds of braves and forced to retreat, eventually meeting up with the reconnaissance column. Together, the two columns made a stand, losing scores of men. To the north, meanwhile, Custer and more than 200 men under his command were all killed in a desperate struggle against a far superior force of Indians.

The debacle of the Battle of the Little Bighorn shocked America. The government sent thousands of troops to batter the Indians into submission. Ironically the Indian victory at Little Bighorn was the last of its kind. Another battle began – a battle for Custer's reputation. Some officials, including President Ulysses Grant, criticised Custer for his handling of the encounter.

MAKING THE MYTH
Elizabeth Custer responded by dedicating the rest of her life to defending her husband's reputation. She wrote and lectured widely, lauding Custer as an exemplary officer and gentleman. Gradually, the myth of a heroic, blameless Custer massacred by "savages" took hold. It is only relatively recently that historians have reminded us that Custer was leading an aggressive military force when he and his men were killed. What's more, the quality of his leadership at Little Bighorn is at the very least open to question.


Custer, George Armstrong

Custer, George Armstrong ( 05 December 1839–25 June 1876 ), Civil War general and Indian fighter , was born in New Rumley, Ohio, the son of Emanuel Custer and Maria Ward, farmers. Reared in the rough-and-tumble environment of a large, rural family, “Autie” was a strapping, energetic youth who enjoyed hunting, fishing, and practical jokes and valued romantic novels over academic studies. From his family he acquired a strong affinity for Methodism and the Democratic party. Custer was educated at Stebbins Academy in Monroe, Michigan, where he lived part time with a half sister, and at McNeely Normal School in Hopedale, Ohio, and then taught briefly at two country schools in Ohio before winning, at age seventeen, an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Entering in June 1857, he graduated four years later, at the outbreak of the Civil War. His academic and conduct record at West Point was as dismal as his record in the combat arts was outstanding. Graduating at the foot of his class of thirty-four, he was commissioned second lieutenant in the Second U.S. Cavalry in time to take part in the first battle of Manassas.

Custer found his calling in the Civil War. Two years of staff duty, including a tour as aide to General George B. McClellan (1826–1885), established his military skill, both as a staff officer and in combat. So impressed was General Alfred Pleasonton , commander of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac, that he recommended Custer for promotion. In June 1863 Captain Custer was appointed brigadier general of volunteers and given command of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade. At twenty-three, he was the youngest general in the Union army. Almost instantly General Custer made a dazzling name for himself. On the third day of Gettysburg the Michigan Brigade played a key role in turning back General J. E. B. Stuart ’s Confederate cavalry, which threatened the Union rear at the very moment of George Edward Pickett ’s charge on the Union center. Thereafter Custer’s successes accumulated one after another. He became known throughout the army for smashing cavalry charges, for heedless bravery, for tactical brilliance more instinctive than cerebral, for heavy casualties, and, with long yellow hair and gold-bedecked black uniform, for personal flamboyance. Newspapers made him a household name. Throughout his life an incurable romantic, Custer took special pleasure in the opposite sex. In 1863 he married Elizabeth Clift Bacon ( Elizabeth Clift Bacon Custer ). Although the marriage has come down to posterity as one of history’s most idyllic, it went through periods of stress, almost certainly including infidelity on his part. There were no children.

When Ulysses S. Grant began his campaign against Richmond in the spring of 1864, General Philip H. Sheridan took command of the Cavalry Corps. In the battle of the Wilderness and the cavalry’s raid on Richmond, Sheridan came to admire Custer’s qualities, while Custer formed a lifelong loyalty to Sheridan. For the rest of his career, Custer benefited from Sheridan’s patronage. Sheridan’s campaigns in the autumn of 1864 to rid the Shenandoah Valley of Confederate forces catapulted Custer to military stardom. At Winchester and Cedar Creek, he led cavalry charges that triggered the collapse of the Confederate lines. Winchester earned him command of the Third Cavalry Division, and Cedar Creek brought him a brevet of major general, which allowed him to don two stars at the age of twenty-four. At Waynesboro, in advance of Sheridan’s army, he seized the initiative and launched an attack that all but destroyed General Jubal Early ’s army. In the final campaigns of the war, Custer continued to add to his renown. At Dinwiddie Court House and Five Forks, and in the pursuit of Robert E. Lee ’s army from Petersburg to Appomattox, Custer and the Third Division won a string of victories and finally, at Appomattox Station, blocked the further retreat of the Confederate army. On the morning of 9 April 1865 the white towel signifying Lee’s wish to meet with Grant was borne to General Custer. Sheridan bought the table on which the surrender was signed and presented it to Libbie Custer.

Had Custer been killed at Appomattox, he would be remembered as a great cavalry general, second only to Sheridan among Union horsemen. His tactical moves were nearly always correct and instantly executed. None excelled him in personal courage or individual battlefield combat. His casualty rates, however, gave him a reputation for recklessness, while his youth, his promotion from captain to general, his ostentation, and his heroic public image aroused jealousy and ridicule. After a brief tour in Louisiana and Texas, Custer was mustered out of the volunteer army and reverted to his regular rank of captain. With the expansion of the regular army in 1866, however, he won the lieutenant colonelcy of one of the new regiments, the Seventh Cavalry. With Sheridan’s help, he was brevetted major general in the regular army. Thus, as with most other high-ranking officers who remained in active service, “General” Custer served in the actual rank of lieutenant colonel.

As an Indian fighter on the Great Plains, Custer made a new name for himself, one that eclipsed even his image as the “Boy General” of the Civil War. He began his new career inauspiciously with a clumsy performance in General Winfield S. Hancock ’s campaign of 1867 against the Cheyennes in Kansas, which culminated in a court-martial. Found guilty of a series of charges stemming from misconduct in the field, Custer was suspended from rank and pay for one year. On application of General Sheridan, however, he returned before completing the sentence and quickly scored a notable victory over Black Kettle ’s Cheyennes at the battle of the Washita in November 1868. Although immediately controversial because of the killing of women and children, the Washita established Custer’s reputation as an Indian fighter. Assigned to the northern Plains in 1873, he took part in the Yellowstone Expedition, which guarded surveyors of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Two more victories, now against the Sioux, added luster to his name. In 1874 Custer led the Seventh in an exploration of the Black Hills of Dakota. Miners with the column found gold, and the ensuing gold rush laid the groundwork for the final chapter of his life.

By 1875 Custer was widely admired as the nation’s foremost Indian fighter. He boasted a solid record, but the fame came as much from newspaper attention and from his own writings. He published a series of magazine articles and then consolidated them into an autobiography, which reached a large audience. Custer’s final campaign, ending in the battle of the Little Bighorn on 25 June 1876, earned him immortality and a place in the national folklore. The disaster, low point for the army in the Great Sioux War of 1876, occurred when the Seventh Cavalry attacked a large Sioux and Cheyenne encampment on Montana’s Little Bighorn River. Five companies under Custer’s immediate command, more than two hundred officers and troopers, were wiped out by nearly two thousand warriors defending their families. The remaining seven companies of the regiment, under Major Marcus A. Reno and Captain Frederick W. Benteen, successfully defended an entrenched hilltop for two days until reinforcements arrived.

At once the subject of bitter controversy, “Custer’s Last Stand” has been vigorously debated ever since. Custer has been charged with recklessness, Reno with cowardice, and their superiors with faulty strategy. Defenders ensure that the arguments will endure forever, as will the image of the doomed but heroic figure of Custer facing death on a hilltop. In large part, however, the soldiers lost because the Indians won—although in victory lay the seeds of their ultimate defeat.

Bibliography

Custer’s letters and other papers exist in the Marguerite Merington Collection at the New York Public Library and the Yale University Library, as well as in the Elizabeth B. Custer Collection at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Mont. Among many biographies are Robert M. Utley, Cavalier in Buckskin: George Armstrong Custer and the Western Military Frontier (1988), and Jay Monaghan, Custer: The Life of General George Armstrong Custer (1959). The Civil War years are treated in Gregory J. W. Urwin, Custer Victorious: The Civil War Battles of General George Armstrong Custer (1983). Custer’s autobiography is My Life on the Plains or, Personal Experiences with Indians (1874). Three autobiographical volumes by Custer’s widow added greatly to the Custer legend: Boots and Saddles or, Life in Dakota with General Custer (1885) Tenting on the Plains or, General Custer in Kansas and Texas (1887) and Following the Guidon (1890). For the legend, consult Bruce A. Rosenberg, Custer and the Epic of Defeat (1974). For the Sioux campaign of 1876 and the battle of the Little Bighorn, see John S. Gray, Centennial Campaign: The Sioux War of 1876 (1976), and Custer’s Last Campaign: Mitch Boyer and the Little Bighorn Reconstructed (1991).


Civil War

McClellan and Pleasonton

Second Lieutenant George A. Custer had his photo taken with ex-classmate, friend, and captured Confederate prisoner, Lt. J.B. Washington, an aide to General Johnston, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, 1862

Custer was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Cavalry and immediately joined his regiment at the First Battle of Bull Run, where Army commander Winfield Scott detailed him to carry messages to Major General Irvin McDowell. After the battle, he was assigned to the 5th U.S. Cavalry, with which he served through the early days of the Peninsula Campaign in 1862.

It was as a staff officer for Major General George B. McClellan that Custer was promoted to the rank of captain. On May 24, 1862, during the pursuit of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston up the Peninsula, when General Barnard and his staff were reconnoitering a potential crossing point on the Chickahominy River, they stopped, and Custer overheard his commander mutter to himself, "I wish I knew how deep it is." Custer dashed forward on his horse out to the middle of the river and turned to the astonished officers of the staff and shouted triumphantly, "That's how deep it is, Mr General!" Custer then was allowed to lead an attack with four companies of the 4th Michigan Infantry across the Chickahominy River above New Bridge. The attack was successful, resulting in the capture of 50 Confederate soldiers and the seizing of the first Confederate battle flag of the war. Major General McClellan, commander of the Army of the Potomac, termed it a "very gallant affair", congratulated Custer personally, and brought him onto his staff as an aide-de-camp with the temporary rank of captain. In this role, Custer began his life-long pursuit of publicity. ⎖]

Custer (extreme right) with President Lincoln, George B. McClellan and other officers at the Battle of Antietam, 1862

When McClellan was relieved of command in November 1862, Custer reverted to the rank of first lieutenant. Custer fell into the orbit of Major General Alfred Pleasonton, who was commanding a cavalry division. The general was Custer's introduction to the world of extravagant uniforms and political maneuvering, and the young lieutenant became his protégé, serving on Pleasonton's staff while continuing his assignment with his regiment. Custer was quoted as saying that "no father could love his son more than General Pleasonton loves me." After the Battle of Chancellorsville, Pleasonton became the commander of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac and his first assignment was to locate the army of Robert E. Lee, moving north through the Shenandoah Valley in the beginning of the Gettysburg Campaign. In his first command, Custer affected a showy, personalized uniform style that alienated his men, but he won them over with his readiness to lead attacks (a contrast to the many officers who would hang back, hoping to avoid being hit) his men began to adopt elements of his uniform, especially the red neckerchief. Custer distinguished himself by fearless, aggressive actions in some of the numerous cavalry engagements that started off the campaign, including Brandy Station and Aldie.

Brigade command and Gettysburg

Captain Custer (left) with General Alfred Pleasonton on horseback in Falmouth, Virginia.

Union Cavalry Generals George A. Custer (left) and Alfred Pleasonton in Autumn 1863

On June 28, 1863, three days prior to the Battle of Gettysburg, General Pleasonton promoted Custer from captain to brigadier general of volunteers. Ζ] Despite having no direct command experience, he became one of the youngest generals in the Union Army at age 23. Two other captains—Wesley Merritt and Elon J. Farnsworth—were promoted along with Custer, although they did have command experience. Custer lost no time in implanting his aggressive character on his brigade, part of the division of Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick. He fought against the Confederate cavalry of Major General J.E.B. Stuart at Hanover and Hunterstown, on the way to the main event at Gettysburg.

Custer's style of battle was often claimed to be reckless or foolhardy, but military planning was always the basis of every Custer "dash". As Marguerite Merrington explains in The Custer Story in Letters, "George Custer meticulously scouted every battlefield, gauged the enemies [sic] weak points and strengths, ascertained the best line of attack and only after he was satisfied was the 'Custer Dash' with a Michigan yell focused with complete surprise on the enemy in routing them every time." ⎗] One of his greatest attributes during the Civil War was what Custer wrote of as "luck" and he needed it to survive some of these charges.

Custer established a reputation as an aggressive cavalry brigade commander willing to take personal risks by leading his Michigan Brigade into battle, such as the mounted charges at Hunterstown and East Cavalry Field at the Battle of Gettysburg. At Hunterstown, in an ill-considered charge ordered by Kilpatrick against the brigade of Wade Hampton, Custer fell from his wounded horse directly before the enemy and became the target of numerous enemy rifles. He was rescued by Norville Churchill of the 1st Michigan Cavalry, who galloped up, shot Custer's nearest assailant, and allowed Custer to mount behind him for a dash to safety.

One of Custer's finest hours in the Civil War occurred just east of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. In conjunction with Pickett's Charge to the west, Robert E. Lee had dispatched Stuart's cavalry on a mission into the rear of the Union Army. Custer encountered the Union cavalry division of Brigadier General David McMurtrie Gregg directly in the path of Stuart's horsemen. He convinced Gregg to allow him to stay and fight, while his own division was stationed to the south out of the action. At East Cavalry Field, hours of charges and hand-to-hand combat ensued. Custer led a mounted charge of the 1st Michigan Cavalry, breaking the back of the Confederate assault. Custer's brigade lost 257 men at Gettysburg, the highest loss of any Union cavalry brigade. ⎘] "I challenge the annals of warfare to produce a more brilliant or successful charge of cavalry", Custer wrote in his report. ⎙]

Marriage

George and Libbie Custer, 1864

Custer married Elizabeth Clift Bacon (1842–1933) (whom he first saw when he was ten years old) ⎚] on February 9, 1864. He had been socially introduced to her in November 1862, when home in Monroe on leave. She was not initially impressed with him, ⎛] and her father, Judge Daniel Bacon, disapproved of Custer as a match because he was the son of a blacksmith. It was not until well after Custer had been promoted to the rank of brevet brigadier general that he gained the approval of Judge Bacon. He married Elizabeth Bacon fourteen months after they formally met. ⎜]

Following the Battle of Washita River in November 1868, Custer was alleged (by Captain Frederick Benteen, chief of scouts Ben Clark, and Cheyenne oral tradition) to have unofficially married Mo-nah-se-tah, daughter of the Cheyenne chief Little Rock in the winter or early spring of 1868–1869. (Little Rock was killed in the Washita battle.) ⎝] Mo-nah-se-tah gave birth to a child in January 1869, two months after the Washita battle. Cheyenne oral history tells that she also bore a second child, fathered by Custer in late 1869. Some historians, however, believe that Custer had become sterile after contracting gonorrhea while at West Point and that the father was, in actuality, his brother Thomas. ⎞]

The Valley and Appomattox

In 1864, with the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac reorganized under the command of Major General Philip Sheridan, Custer (now commanding the 3rd Division) led his "Wolverines" to the Shenandoah Valley where by the year's end they defeated the army of Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early in the Valley Campaigns of 1864. During May and June, Sheridan and Custer took part in cavalry actions supporting the Overland Campaign, including the Battle of the Wilderness (after which Custer ascended to division command), and the Battle of Yellow Tavern (where J.E.B. Stuart was mortally wounded). In the largest all-cavalry engagement of the war, the Battle of Trevilian Station, in which Sheridan sought to destroy the Virginia Central Railroad and the Confederates' western resupply route, Custer captured Hampton's divisional train, but was then cut off and suffered heavy losses (including having his division's trains overrun and his personal baggage captured by the enemy) before being relieved. When Lieutenant General Early was then ordered to move down the Shenandoah Valley and threaten Washington, D.C., Custer's division was again dispatched under Sheridan. In the Valley Campaigns of 1864, they pursued the Confederates at the Third Battle of Winchester and effectively destroyed Early's army during Sheridan's counterattack at Cedar Creek.

Sheridan and Custer, having defeated Early, returned to the main Union Army lines at the Siege of Petersburg, where they spent the winter. In April 1865 the Confederate lines finally broke, and Robert E. Lee began his retreat to Appomattox Court House, pursued by the Union cavalry. Custer distinguished himself by his actions at Waynesboro, Dinwiddie Court House, and Five Forks. His division blocked Lee's retreat on its final day and received the first flag of truce from the Confederate force. Custer was present at the surrender at Appomattox Court House and the table upon which the surrender was signed was presented to him as a gift for his wife by General Sheridan, who included a note to her praising Custer's gallantry. She treasured the gift of the historical table, which is now in the Smithsonian Institution. ⎟]

Before the close of the war Custer received brevet promotions to brigadier general and major general in the regular army (March 13, 1865) and major general of volunteers (April 15, 1865). Ζ] As with most wartime promotions, even when issued under the regular army, these senior ranks were only temporary.

Reconstruction duties in Texas

In June 1865, at Sheridan's behest, Custer accepted command of the 2nd Division of Cavalry, Military Division of the Southwest, to march from Alexandria, Louisiana, to Hempstead, Texas, as part of the Union occupation forces. Custer arrived at Alexandria on June 27 and began assembling his units, which took more than a month to gather and remount. Accompanied by his wife, he led the division (five regiments of veteran Western Theater cavalrymen) to Texas on an arduous 18-day march in August. In October he moved the division to Austin, when he became Chief of Cavalry for the Department of Texas, succeeding Major General Wesley Merritt.

During his entire period of command of the division, Custer encountered considerable friction and near mutiny from the volunteer cavalry regiments who had campaigned along the Gulf coast. They desired to be mustered out of Federal service rather than continue campaigning, resented imposition of discipline (particularly from an Eastern Theater general), and considered Custer nothing more than a vain dandy. ⎠] ⎡]

Custer's division was mustered out beginning in November 1865, replaced by the regulars of the U.S. 6th Cavalry Regiment. Although their occupation of Austin had apparently been pleasant, many veterans harbored deep resentments against Custer, particularly in the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry, because of his attempts to maintain discipline. Upon its mustering out, several members planned to ambush Custer, but he was warned the night before and the attempt thwarted. ⎢]


Ближайшие родственники

About General George Armstrong Custer

The Custers were native of Harrison County, O., the house in which Gen. Custer was born still standing in the village of New Rumley, about three miles north of Scioto.

From the 1850 United States Census, George A. Custer lived with his mother, father, and three brothers at North Township, Harrison County, Ohio. The family at the time consisted of:

  • Head Emanuel Custer 43
  • Wife Mariah Custer 42
  • Son George A Custer 10
  • Son Nevin Custer 7
  • Son Thomas Custer 5
  • Son Boston Custer 1

Brevet Major General of Volunteers in the Civil War

Lieutenant Colonel (Regular Army)

George Armstrong Custer (December 5, 1839 – June 25, 1876) was a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars. Today he is most remembered for a disastrous military engagement known as the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Raised in Michigan and Ohio, Custer was admitted to West Point in 1858, where he graduated last in his class. However, with the outbreak of the Civil War, all potential officers were needed, and Custer was called to serve with the Union Army.

Custer acquired a solid reputation during the Civil War. He fought in the first major engagement, the First Battle of Bull Run. His association with several important officers helped his career, as did his performance as an aggressive commander. Before war's end, Custer was promoted to the temporary rank (brevet) of major general. (At war's end, this was reduced to the permanent rank of Lieutenant Colonel). At the conclusion of the Appomattox Campaign, in which he and his troops played a decisive role, Custer was on hand at General Robert E. Lee's surrender.

After the Civil War, Custer was dispatched to the West to fight in the Indian Wars. The overwhelming defeat in his final battle overshadowed his achievements in the Civil War. Custer was defeated and killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, fighting against a coalition of Native American tribes in a battle that has come to be popularly known in American history as "Custer's Last Stand".

George Armstrong Custer (December 5, 1839 – June 25, 1876) was a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars. Today he is most remembered for a disastrous military engagement known as the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Raised in Michigan and Ohio, Custer was admitted to West Point in 1858, where he graduated last in his class. However, with the outbreak of the Civil War, all potential officers were needed, and Custer was called to serve with the Union Army.

Custer developed a strong reputation during the Civil War. He fought in the first major engagement, the First Battle of Bull Run. His association with several important officers helped his career, as did his success as a highly effective Cavalry commander. Before war's end, Custer was promoted to the temporary rank (brevet) of major general. (At war's end, this was reduced to his permanent rank of captain). At the conclusion of the Appomattox Campaign, in which he and his troops played a decisive role, Custer was on hand at General Robert E. Lee's surrender.

After the Civil War, Custer was dispatched to the West to fight in the Indian Wars. The overwhelming defeat in his final battle overshadowed his achievements in the Civil War. Custer was defeated and killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, fighting against a coalition of Native American tribes in a battle that has come to be popularly known in American history as Custer's Last Stand.

According to late 20th century research, Custer's ancestors, Paulus and Gertrude Küster, who followed the first thirteen immigrant German families from Krefeld and surroundings, had emigrated to North America around 1693 from the Rhineland in Germany, probably among thousands of Palatine refugees whose passage was arranged by the English government of Queen Anne to gain settlers. Their surname originally was spelled "Küster". George Armstrong Custer was a 3xgreat-grandson of Paulus Küster from Kaltenkirchen, Duchy of Jülich (today North Rhine-Westphalia state), who settled in Germantown, Pennsylvania.[1][2]

A 1909 history of Germans in the US stated that Custer's immigrant ancestor was a Hessian soldier fighting for the British, who was paroled in 1778 after Burgoyne's surrender. The soldier was said to have changed his name to Custer because it was easier for his English neighbors to pronounce and perhaps also to remove the stigma attaching to a Hessian, so offensive then to American sensibilities.[3]

Custer's mother was Marie Ward, who – at the age of 16 – had married Israel Kirkpatrick. When he died in 1835, she married Emanuel Henry Custer in 1836. Marie's grandparents – George Ward (1724�) and Mary Ward (nພ Grier) (1733�) – were from County Durham, England. Their son James Grier Ward (1765�) was born in Dauphin, Pennsylvania, and married Catherine Rogers (1776�). Their daughter Marie Ward became Custer's mother. Catherine Rogers was a daughter of Thomas Rogers and Sarah Armstrong. According to family letters, Custer was named after George Armstrong, a minister, in his devout father's hopes that his son might become part of the clergy.[4] [edit] Birth, nicknames and siblings

Custer was born in New Rumley, Ohio, to Emanuel Henry Custer (1806�), a farmer and blacksmith, and Marie Ward Kirkpatrick (1807�).[5] Throughout his life Custer was known by a variety of nicknames. He was called "Autie" (his early attempt to pronounce his middle name) and Armstrong.

He had two younger brothers, Thomas Custer and Boston Custer. His other full siblings were the family's youngest child, Margaret Custer, and the weak and unhealthy Nevin Custer. Custer also had several older half-siblings.[6]

[image of] USMA Cadet George Armstrong "Autie" Custer, ca. 1859

Custer spent much of his boyhood living with his half-sister and brother-in-law in Monroe, Michigan, where he attended school.[citation needed] Before entering the United States Military Academy, Custer attended the McNeely Normal School, later known as Hopedale Normal College, in Hopedale, Ohio. While attending Hopedale, Custer, together with classmate William Enos Emery, was known to have carried coal to help pay for their room and board. After graduating from McNeely Normal School in 1856, Custer taught school in Cadiz, Ohio.

Custer graduated as the last of 34 cadets[7] in the Class of June 1861 from the United States Military Academy, just after the start of the Civil War.[8] Custer's West Point class (originally the Class of 1862) was graduated a year early to meet the Army's pressing need for trained officers. Ordinarily, Custer's low class rank would be a ticket to an obscure posting, but Custer had the fortune to graduate just as the Civil War broke out. Custer's tenure at the Academy had been rocky, as he came close to expulsion in each of his four years due to excessive demerits, many from pulling pranks on fellow cadets.

[image of] McClellan and Pleasonton

[image of] Second Lieutenant George A. Custer has photo taken with ex-classmate, friend and captured Confederate prisoner, Lt. J.B. Washington, aide to Gen. Johnston at Fair Oaks, 1862.

Custer was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Cavalry and immediately joined his regiment at the First Battle of Bull Run, where Army commander Winfield Scott detailed him to carry messages to Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell. After the battle he was assigned to the 5th U.S. Cavalry, with which he served through the early days of the Peninsula Campaign in 1862. As a staff officer for Major General George B. McClellan, Custer was promoted to the rank of captain. On May 24, 1862, during the pursuit of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston up the Peninsula, when Gen. Barnard and his staff were reconnoitering a potential crossing point on the Chickahominy River, they stopped and Custer overheard his commander mutter to himself, "I wish I knew how deep it is." Custer dashed forward on his horse out to the middle of the river and turned to the astonished officers of the staff and shouted triumphantly, "That's how deep it is, Mr General!" Custer then was allowed to lead an attack with four companies of the 4th Michigan Infantry across the Chickahominy River above New Bridge. The attack was successful, resulting in the capture of 50 Confederates seizing the first Confederate battle flag of the war. Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, commander of the Army of the Potomac, termed it a "very gallant affair", congratulated Custer personally, and brought him onto his staff as an aide-de-camp with the temporary rank of captain. In this role, Custer began his life-long pursuit of publicity.[9]

[image of] Custer (extreme right) with President Lincoln, George B. McClellan and other officers at the Battle of Antietam, 1862

When McClellan was relieved of command in November 1862, Custer reverted to the rank of first lieutenant. Custer fell into the orbit of Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton, who was commanding a cavalry division. The general was Custer's introduction to the world of extravagant uniforms and political maneuvering, and the young lieutenant became his protégé, serving on Pleasonton's staff while continuing his assignment with his regiment. Custer was quoted as saying that "no father could love his son more than General Pleasonton loves me." After the Battle of Chancellorsville, Pleasonton became the commander of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac and his first assignment was to locate the army of Robert E. Lee, moving north through the Shenandoah Valley in the beginning of the Gettysburg Campaign. In his first command, Custer affected a showy, personalized uniform style that alienated his men, but he won them over with his readiness to lead attacks (a contrast to the many officers who would hang back, hoping to avoid being hit) his men began to adopt elements of his uniform, especially the red neckerchief. Custer distinguished himself by fearless, aggressive actions in some of the numerous cavalry engagements that started off the campaign, including Brandy Station and Aldie.

Brigade command and Gettysburg

[image of] Captain Custer (left) with General Alfred Pleasonton (right) on horseback in Falmouth, Virginia.

[image of] Union Cavalry Generals George A. Custer and Alfred Pleasonton in Autumn 1863

On June 28, 1863, three days prior to the Battle of Gettysburg, General Pleasonton promoted Custer from captain to brigadier general of volunteers.[7] Despite having no direct command experience, he became one of the youngest generals in the Union Army at age 23. Two other captains—Wesley Merritt and Elon J. Farnsworth—were promoted along with Custer, although they did have command experience. Custer lost no time in implanting his aggressive character on his brigade, part of the division of Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick. He fought against the Confederate cavalry of Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart at Hanover and Hunterstown, on the way to the main event at Gettysburg.

Custer's style of battle was often claimed to be reckless or foolhardy, but military planning was always the basis of every Custer "dash". As Marguerite Merrington explains in The Custer Story in Letters, "George Custer meticulously scouted every battlefield, gauged the enemiessic? weak points and strengths, ascertained the best line of attack and only after he was satisfied was the 'Custer Dash' with a Michigan yell focused with complete surprise on the enemy in routing them every time."[10] One of his greatest attributes during the Civil War was what Custer wrote of as "luck" and he needed it to survive some of these charges.

Custer established a reputation as an aggressive cavalry brigade commander willing to take personal risks by leading his Michigan Brigade into battle, such as the mounted charges at Hunterstown and East Cavalry Field at the Battle of Gettysburg. At Hunterstown, in an ill-considered charge ordered by Kilpatrick against the brigade of Wade Hampton, Custer fell from his wounded horse directly before the enemy and became the target of numerous enemy rifles. He was rescued by Norville Churchill of the 1st Michigan Cavalry, who galloped up, shot Custer's nearest assailant, and allowed Custer to mount behind him for a dash to safety. One of Custer's finest hours in the Civil War occurred just east of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. In conjunction with Pickett's Charge to the west, Robert E. Lee dispatched Stuart's cavalry on a mission into the rear of the Union Army. Custer encountered the Union cavalry division of Brig. Gen. David McMurtrie Gregg directly in the path of Stuart's horsemen. He convinced Gregg to allow him to stay and fight, while his own division was stationed to the south out of the action. At East Cavalry Field, hours of charges and hand-to-hand combat ensued. Custer led a mounted charge of the 1st Michigan Cavalry, breaking the back of the Confederate assault. Custer's brigade lost 257 men at Gettysburg, the highest loss of any Union cavalry brigade.[11] "I challenge the annals of warfare to produce a more brilliant or successful charge of cavalry", Custer wrote in his report.[12]

[image of] George and Libbie Custer, 1864

Custer married Elizabeth Clift Bacon (1842�) (whom he first saw when he was ten years old)[13] on February 9, 1864. He had been socially introduced to her in November 1862, when home in Monroe on leave. She was not initially impressed with him,[14] and her father, Judge Daniel Bacon, disapproved of Custer as a match because he was the son of a blacksmith. It was not until well after Custer had been promoted to the rank of brevet brigadier general that he gained the approval of Judge Bacon. He married Elizabeth Bacon fourteen months after they formally met.[15]

Following the Battle of Washita River in November 1868, Custer was alleged (by Captain Frederick Benteen, chief of scouts Ben Clark, and Cheyenne oral tradition) to have unofficially 'married' Monaseetah, daughter of the Cheyenne chief Little Rock in the winter or early spring of 1868�. (Little Rock was killed in the Washita battle.)[16] Monaseetah gave birth to a child in January 1869, two months after the Washita battle. Cheyenne oral history tells that she also bore a second child, fathered by Custer in late 1869. Some historians, however, believe that Custer had become sterile after contracting gonorrhea while at West Point and that the father was in actuality his brother Thomas.[17]

The Valley and Appomattox

In 1864, with the Cavalry Corps under the command of Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan, Custer led his "Wolverines" through the Overland Campaign, including the Battle of Trevilian Station. Custer, now commanding the 3rd Division, followed Sheridan to the Shenandoah Valley where they defeated the Confederate army of Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early in the Valley Campaigns of 1864. When the cavalry corps of the Army of the Potomac was reorganized under Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan in 1864, Custer took part in the various actions of the cavalry in the Overland Campaign, including the Battle of the Wilderness (after which he ascended to division command), the Battle of Yellow Tavern, where Jeb Stuart was mortally wounded, and the Battle of Trevilian Station, where Custer was humiliated by having his division trains overrun and his personal baggage captured by the enemy. When Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early moved down the Shenandoah Valley and threatened Washington, D.C., Custer's division was dispatched along with Sheridan to the Valley Campaigns of 1864. They pursued the Confederates at the Battle of Third Winchester and effectively destroyed Early's army during Sheridan's counterattack at Cedar Creek.

Sheridan and Custer, having defeated Early, returned to the main Union Army lines at the Siege of Petersburg, where they spent the winter. In April 1865 the Confederate lines were finally broken and Robert E. Lee began his retreat to Appomattox Court House, pursued by the Union cavalry. Custer distinguished himself by his actions at Waynesboro, Dinwiddie Court House, and Five Forks. His division blocked Lee's retreat on its final day and received the first flag of truce from the Confederate force. Custer was present at the surrender at Appomattox Court House and the table upon which the surrender was signed was presented to him as a gift for his wife by General Sheridan, who included a note to her praising Custer's gallantry. She treasured the gift, which is now in the Smithsonian Institution.[18]

Before the close of the war Custer received brevet promotions to brigadier general and major general in the regular army (March 13, 1865) and major general of volunteers (April 15, 1865).[7] As with most wartime promotions, even when issued under the regular army, these senior ranks were only temporary.

Reconstruction duties in Texas

In June 1865, at Sheridan's behest, Custer accepted command of the 2d Division of Cavalry, Military Division of the Southwest, to march from Alexandria, Louisiana, to Hempstead, Texas, as part of the Union occupation forces. Custer arrived at Alexandria on June 27 and began assembling his units, which took more than a month to gather and remount. Accompanied by his wife, he led the division (five regiments of veteran Western Theater cavalrymen) to Texas on an arduous 18-day march in August. In October he moved the division to Austin, when he became Chief of Cavalry for the Department of Texas, succeeding Maj-Gen. Wesley Merritt.

During his entire period of command of the division, Custer encountered considerable friction and near mutiny from the volunteer cavalry regiments who had campaigned along the Gulf coast. They desired to be mustered out of Federal service rather than continue campaigning, resented imposition of discipline (particularly from an Eastern Theater general), and considered Custer nothing more than a vain dandy.[19][20]

Custer's division was mustered out beginning in November 1865, replaced by the regulars of the U.S. 6th Cavalry Regiment. Although their occupation of Austin had apparently been pleasant, many veterans harbored deep resentments against Custer, particularly in the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry, because of his attempts to maintain discipline. Upon its mustering out, several members planned to ambush Custer, but he was warned the night before and the attempt thwarted.[21]

[image of] Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer, US Army, 1865

On February 1, 1866, Custer was mustered out of the volunteer service and returned to his permanent rank of captain in the 5th Cavalry. Custer took an extended leave, exploring options in New York City,[22] where he considered careers in railroads and mining.[23] Offered a position (and $10,000 in gold) as adjutant general of the army of Benito Juárez of Mexico, who was then in a struggle with the self-proclaimed Maximilian I (a foil of French Emperor Napoleon III), Custer applied for a one-year leave of absence from the U.S. Army, which was endorsed by Grant and Secretary of War Stanton. Sheridan and Mrs. Custer disapproved, however, and when his request for leave was opposed by U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward, who was against having an American officer commanding foreign troops, Custer refused the alternative of resignation from the Army to take the lucrative post.[23][24]

Following the death of his father-in-law in May 1866, Custer returned to Monroe, Michigan, where he considered running for Congress. He took part in public discussion over the treatment of the American South in the aftermath of the Civil War, advocating a policy of moderation.[23] He was named head of the Soldiers and Sailors Union, regarded as a response to the hyper-partisan Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). Also formed in 1866, it was led by Republican activist John Alexander Logan. In September 1866 Custer accompanied President Andrew Johnson on a journey by train known as the "Swing Around the Circle" to build up public support for Johnson's policies towards the South. Custer denied a charge by the newspapers that Johnson had promised him a colonel's commission in return for his support, but Custer had written to Johnson some weeks before seeking such a commission. Custer and his wife Libbie stayed with the president during most of the trip. At one point Custer confronted a small group of Ohio men who repeatedly jeered Johnson, saying, "I was born two miles and a half from here, but I am ashamed of you."[25]

Custer was appointed lieutenant colonel of the newly created U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment,[26] headquartered at Fort Riley, Kansas.[27] As a result of a plea by his patron General Philip Sheridan, Custer was also appointed brevet major general.[26] He took part in Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock's expedition against the Cheyenne in 1867. On June 26, 1867 Lt. Lyman Kidder's party, made up of ten troopers and one scout, were massacred while in route to Fort Wallace. Lt. Kidder was to deliver dispatches to Custer from Gen. William Sherman, but his party was attacked by Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne (see Kidder massacre). Days later, Custer and a search party found the bodies of Kidder's patrol.

[image of] Custer posing with Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia, 1872

Following the Hancock campaign, Custer was court-martialed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for being AWOL, after having abandoned his post to see his wife. He was suspended from duty for one year. At the request of Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan, who wanted Custer for his planned winter campaign against the Cheyenne, Custer was allowed to return to duty in 1868, before his term of suspension had expired.

Under Sheridan's orders, Custer took part in establishing Camp Supply in Indian Territory in early November 1868 as a supply base for the winter campaign. Custer led the 7th U.S. Cavalry in an attack on the Cheyenne encampment of Black Kettle — the Battle of Washita River on November 27, 1868. Custer reported killing 103 warriors estimates by the Cheyenne of their casualties were substantially lower (11 warriors plus 19 women and children)[28] some women and children were also killed, and US troops took 53 women and children prisoner. Custer had his men shoot most of the 875 Indian ponies they had captured. The Battle of Washita River was regarded as the first substantial U.S. victory in the Southern Plains War, and it helped force a significant portion of the Southern Cheyennes onto a U.S.-assigned reservation.

[image of] Custer and his wife at Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory, 1874

In 1873, Custer was sent to the Dakota Territory to protect a railroad survey party against the Lakota. On August 4, 1873, near the Tongue River, Custer and the 7th U.S. Cavalry clashed for the first time with the Lakota. Only one man on each side was killed. In 1874, Custer led an expedition into the Black Hills and announced the discovery of gold on French Creek near present-day Custer, South Dakota. Custer's announcement triggered the Black Hills Gold Rush. Among the towns that immediately grew up was Deadwood, South Dakota, notorious for lawlessness.

Grant, Belknap and Politics

[image of] Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer, 7th U.S. Cavalry, ca. 1875

The expedition against the Sioux was originally scheduled to leave Fort Abraham Lincoln on April 6, 1876, but on March 15, Custer was summoned to Washington to testify at Congressional hearings regarding the scandal involving U.S. Secretary of War William W. Belknap and President Grant's brother Orville. After testifying on March 29 and April 4, Custer testified before the Banning Committee. After Belknap was indicted, Custer secured release and left Washington on April 20. Instead of immediately returning to Fort Lincoln, he visited the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and traveled to New York to meet with his publishers. While there, he was summoned to the U.S. Senate, possibly a move instigated by President Grant.

Returning to Washington on April 21, Custer found he was the center of a campaign of vilification in the media. He was accused of perjury and disparagement of brother officers. General Sherman asked the new Secretary of War, Alphonso Taft, to write a letter requesting Custer's release so Custer could take command of the Fort Lincoln expedition against the Lakota. President Grant prohibited sending the letter and ordered Taft to appoint another officer to take command. When Brig. Gen. Alfred Terry determined there were no available officers of rank to take command, Sherman ordered him to make an appointment. Stunned that he would not be in command, Custer approached the impeachment managers and secured his release. General Sherman advised Custer not to leave Washington before meeting personally with President Grant. Custer arranged for Colonel Rufus Ingalls to request a meeting, which Grant refused. On the evening of May 3, Custer took a train to Chicago.

The following morning General Sherman sent a telegram to General Sheridan ordering him to intercept Custer and hold him until further orders. Sheridan was also ordered to arrange for the expedition against the Lakota to depart with Major Reno's replacing Custer. Sherman, Sheridan, and Terry all wanted Custer in command but had to support Grant. Sherman wrote Terry: "Custer's political activity has compromised his best friends here, and almost deprived us of the ability to serve him".[citation needed]

Brig. Gen. Terry met Custer in Fort Snelling, Minnesota on May 6. He later recalled, "(Custer) with tears in his eyes, begged for my aid. How could I resist it?"[citation needed]. Terry wrote to Grant attesting to the advantages of Custer's leading the expedition. Sheridan endorsed his effort, accepting Custer's "guilt" and suggesting his restraint in future. Grant was already under pressure for his treatment of Custer and his administration worried about failure of the "Sioux campaign" without him. Grant would be blamed if perceived as ignoring the recommendations of senior Army officers. On May 8 Custer was informed at Fort Snelling that he was to lead the 7th Cavalry, but under Terry's direct supervision.

Before leaving Fort Snelling, Custer spoke to General Terry's chief engineer, Captain Ludlow, saying he would "cut loose" from Terry the first chance he got. Critics have used this statement to conclude that Custer was to blame for the resulting disaster by seeking to claim independent victory.[citation needed] [edit] Battle of the Little Bighorn Main article: Battle of the Little Bighorn

By the time of Custer's expedition to the Black Hills in 1874, the level of conflict and tension between the U.S. and many plains Indians tribes (including the Lakota Sioux and the Cheyenne) had become exceedingly high. Americans continually broke treaty agreements and advanced further westward, resulting in violence and acts of depredation by both sides. To take possession of the Black Hills (and thus the gold deposits), and to stop Indian attacks, the U.S. decided to corral all remaining free plains Indians. The Grant government set a deadline of January 31, 1876 for all Lakota and Arapaho wintering in the "unceded territory" to report to their designated agencies (reservations) or be considered "hostile".[29]

The 7th Cavalry departed from Fort Lincoln on May 17, 1876, part of a larger army force planning to round up remaining free Indians. Meanwhile, in the spring and summer of 1876, the Hunkpapa Lakota holy man Sitting Bull had called together the largest ever gathering of plains Indians at Ash Creek, Montana (later moved to the Little Bighorn River) to discuss what to do about the whites.[30] It was this united encampment of Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians that the 7th met at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

On June 25, some of Custer's Crow Indian scouts identified what they claimed was a large Indian encampment along the Little Bighorn River. Custer divided his forces into three battalions: one led by Major Marcus Reno, one by Captain Frederick Benteen, and one by himself. Captain Thomas M. McDougall and Company B were with the pack train. Benteen was sent south and west, to cut off any attempted escape by the Indians, Reno was sent north to charge the southern end of the encampment, and Custer rode north, hidden to the east of the encampment by bluffs, and planning to circle around and attack from the north.[31][32]

Reno began a charge on the southern end of the village, but halted some 500-600 yards short of the camp, and had his men dismount and form a skirmish line.[33] They were soon overcome by mounted Lakota and Cheyenne warriors who counterattacked en masse against Reno's exposed left flank,[34] forcing Reno and his men to take cover in the trees along the river. Eventually, however, this position became untenable and the troopers were forced into a bloody retreat up onto the bluffs above the river, where they made their own stand.[35][36] This, the opening action of the battle, cost Reno a quarter of his command.

Custer may have seen Reno stop and form a skirmish line as Custer led his command to the northern end of the main encampment, where he apparently planned to sandwich the Indians between his attacking troopers and Reno's command in a "hammer and anvil" maneuver.[37] According to Grinnell's account, based on the testimony of the Cheyenne warriors who survived the fight,[38] at least part of Custer's command attempted to ford the river at the north end of the camp but were driven off by stiff resistance from Indian sharpshooters firing from the brush along the west bank of the river. From that point the soldiers were pursued by hundreds of warriors onto a ridge north of the encampment. Custer and his command were prevented from digging in by Crazy Horse, however, whose warriors had outflanked him and were now to his north, at the crest of the ridge.[39] Traditional white accounts attribute to Gall the attack that drove Custer up onto the ridge, but Indian witnesses have disputed that account.[40] "Hurrah boys, we've got them! We'll finish them up and then go home to our station." �mous words reportedly said by General Custer shortly before being killed.[41]

For a time, Custer's men were deployed by company, in standard cavalry fighting formation—the skirmish line, with every fourth man holding the horses. Yet this arrangement robbed Custer of a quarter of his firepower. Worse, as the fight intensified, many soldiers took to holding their own horses or hobbling them, further reducing the 7th's effective fire. When Crazy Horse and White Bull mounted the charge that broke through the center of Custer's lines, pandemonium broke out among the men of Calhoun's command,[42] though Myles Keogh's men seem to have fought and died where they stood. Many of the panicking soldiers threw down their weapons[43] and either rode or ran towards the knoll where Custer, the other officers, and about 40 men were making a stand. Along the way, the Indians rode them down, counting coup by whacking the fleeing troopers with their quirts or lances.[44]

Initially, Custer had 208 officers and men under his command, with an additional 142 under Reno, just over a hundred under Benteen, 50 soldiers with Captain McDougall's rearguard, and 84 soldiers under 1st Lieutenant Edward Gustave Mathey with the pack train. The Indians may have fielded over 1800 warriors.[45] Historian Gregory Michno settles on a low number around 1000 based on contemporary Lakota testimony, but other sources place the number at 1800 or 2000, especially in the works by Utley and Fox. The 1800� figure is substantially lower than the higher numbers of 3000 or more postulated by Ambrose, Gray, Scott, and others. Some of the other participants in the battle gave these estimates:

An average of the above is 3,500 warriors and chiefs.[46]

As the troopers were cut down, the Indians stripped the dead of their firearms and ammunition, with the result that the return fire from the cavalry steadily decreased, while the fire from the Indians constantly increased. With Custer and the survivors shooting the remaining horses to use them as breastworks and making a final stand on the knoll at the north end of the ridge, the Indians closed in for the final attack and killed every man in Custer's command. As a result, the Battle of the Little Bighorn has come to be popularly known as "Custer's Last Stand".

Some eyewitness reports state that Custer was killed by several Indians and not identified by them until after his death.[citation needed] Some individuals claimed personal responsibility for the killing, including White Bull of the Miniconjous, Rain-in-the-Face, Flat Lip and Brave Bear.[47] In June 2005 at a public meeting, the Northern Cheyenne broke more than 100 years of silence about the battle. Storytellers told that according to their oral tradition, Buffalo Calf Road Woman, a Northern Cheyenne heroine of the Battle of the Rosebud, struck the final blow against Custer, which knocked him off his horse before he died.[48]

A contrasting version of Custer's death is suggested by the testimony of an Oglala named Joseph White Cow Bull, according to novelist and Custer biographer Evan Connell, who relates that Joseph White Cow Bull stated he had shot a rider at the riverside wearing a buckskin jacket and big hat when the soldiers first approached the village from the east. The initial force facing the soldiers, according to this version, was quite small (possibly as few as four warriors) yet challenged Custer's command. The rider who was hit, mounted next to a rider who bore a flag, had shouted orders that prompted the soldiers to attack, but when the buckskin-clad rider fell off his horse after being shot, many of the attackers reined up. The allegation that the buckskin-clad officer was Custer, if accurate, might explain the supposed rapid disintegration of Custer's forces.[49] However, several other officers of the Seventh, including William Cooke and Tom Custer, were also dressed in buckskin on the day of the battle, and the fact that each of the non-mutilation wounds to Custer's body (a bullet wound below the heart and a shot to the left temple) would have been instantly fatal casts doubt on his being wounded or killed at the ford, more than a mile from where his body was found.[50]

In 1920s, two elderly Cheyenne women spoke briefly with oral historians about their having recognized Custer's body on the field of the massacre, and had stopped a Sioux warrior from desecrating the body. The women were relatives of Mo-nah-se-tah, who was alleged to have been Custer's one-time lover. In the Cheyenne culture of the time, such a relationship was considered a marriage. The women allegedly told the warrior to "Stop, he is a relative of ours," and then shooed him away. The two women then shoved their sewing awls into his ears, to permit Custer's corpse to 'hear better in the afterlife' for having broken his promise to Chief Stone Forehead, having fought against Native Americans again.[51]

When the main column under General Terry arrived two days later, the army found most of the soldiers' corpses stripped, scalped, and mutilated.[52] Custer's body had two bullet holes, one in the left temple and one just above the heart.[53] Capt. Benteen, who inspected the body, stated that in his opinion the fatal injuries had not been the result of .45 caliber ammunition, which implies the bullet holes had been caused by ranged rifle fire.[54]

Following the recovery of Custer's body, his remains, along with those of his brother, Tom, were buried on the battlefield side by side in a shallow grave, after being covered by pieces of tent canvas and blankets.[55] One year later, Custer's remains and those of many of his officers were recovered and sent back east for reinterment in more formal burials. Custer was reinterred with full military honors at West Point Cemetery on October 10, 1877. The battle site was designated a National Cemetery in 1876. [edit] Controversial legacy George A. Custer in civilian clothes, ca. 1876

After his death, Custer achieved the lasting fame that he had sought on the battlefield. The public saw him as a tragic military hero and exemplary gentleman who sacrificed his life for his country. Custer's wife, Elizabeth, who had accompanied him in many of his frontier expeditions, did much to advance this view with the publication of several books about her late husband: Boots and Saddles, Life with General Custer in Dakota (1885), Tenting on the Plains (1887), and Following the Guidon (1891). Lt. Col. Custer wrote about the Indian wars in My Life on the Plains (1874).

The deaths of Custer and his troops became the best-known episode in the history of western Indian wars, due in part to a painting commissioned by the brewery Anheuser-Busch as part of an advertising campaign. The enterprising company ordered reprints of a dramatic work that depicted 𠇌uster's Last Stand” and had them framed and hung in many United States saloons. This created lasting impressions of the battle and the brewery’s products in the minds of many bar patrons. [56]

Custer has been called a "media personality".[57][58] He valued good public relations and leveraged the print media of his era effectively. He frequently invited correspondents to accompany his campaigns (one died at the Little Bighorn), and their favorable reporting contributed to his high reputation, which lasted well into the 20th century. He paid attention to his image. After being promoted to brigadier general in the Civil War, Custer sported a uniform that included shiny cavalry boots, tight olive-colored corduroy trousers, a wide-brimmed slouch hat, tight hussar jacket of black velveteen with silver piping on the sleeves, a sailor shirt with silver stars on his collar, and a red cravat. He wore his hair in long ringlets liberally sprinkled with cinnamon-scented hair oil. Later, in his campaigns against the Indians, Custer wore a buckskins outfit, along with his familiar red tie.[59]

The assessment of Custer's actions during the Indian Wars has undergone substantial reconsideration in modern times. Documenting the arc of popular perception in his 1984 biography Son of the Morning Star, author Evan Connell notes the reverential tone of Custer's first biographer Frederick Whittaker (whose book was rushed out the year of Custer's death.)[60] Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote an adoring (and often erroneous) poem.[61] President Theodore Roosevelt's lavish praise pleased Custer's widow.[62] Connell concludes:

Some historians criticize Custer as the personification of the U.S. Government's ill-treatment of the Native American tribes others[who?] view him as a scapegoat for the Grant Indian policy, which he personally opposed. The Grant administration was so displeased by his testimony on behalf of the abuses sustained by the reservation Indians that it nearly prohibited his command.[citation needed]

President Grant, a highly successful general, bluntly criticized Custer's actions in the battle of the Little Bighorn. Quoted in the New York Herald on September 2, 1876, Grant said, "I regard Custer's Massacre as a sacrifice of troops, brought on by Custer himself, that was wholly unnecessary - wholly unnecessary."[63] General Phillip Sheridan likewise took a harsh view of Custer's final military actions. General Nelson Miles (who inherited Custer's mantle of famed Indian fighter) and others praised him as a fallen hero betrayed by the incompetence of subordinate officers. Miles noted the difficulty of winning a fight "with seven-twelfths of the command remaining out of the engagement when within sound of his rifle shots."[64] The controversy over blame for the disaster at Little Bighorn continues to this day. Major Marcus Reno's failure to press his attack on the south end of the Lakota/Cheyenne village and his flight to the timber along the river after a single casualty have been cited as a causal factor in the destruction of Custer's battalion, as has Captain Frederick Benteen's allegedly tardy arrival on the field and the failure of the two officers' combined forces to move toward the relief of Custer. "When writing about Custer, neutral ground is elusive. What should Custer have done at any of the critical junctures that rapidly presented themselves, each now the subject of endless speculation and rumination? There will always be a variety of opinions based upon what Custer knew, what he did not know, and what he could not have known. " 𠅏rom Touched by Fire: The Life, Death, and Mythic Afterlife of George Armstrong Custer by Louise Barnett.[63]

In contrast, some of Custer's critics, including Gen. Sheridan, have asserted at least three clear tactical errors.[citation needed]

First, while camped at Powder River, Custer refused the support offered by General Terry on June 21, of an additional four companies of the Second Cavalry. Custer stated that he "could whip any Indian village on the Plains" with his own regiment, and that extra troops would simply be a burden.

At the same time, he left behind at the steamer Far West on the Yellowstone a battery of Gatling guns, knowing he was facing superior numbers. Before leaving the camp all the troops, including the officers, also boxed their sabers and sent them back with the wagons.[65] On the day of the battle, Custer divided his 600-man command, despite being faced with vastly superior numbers of Sioux and Cheyenne.

The refusal of an extra battalion reduced the size of his force by at least a sixth, and rejecting the firepower offered by the Gatling guns played into the events of June 25 to the disadvantage of his regiment.[66]

Custer's defenders, however, including historian Charles K. Hofling, have asserted that Gatling guns would have been slow and cumbersome as the troops crossed the rough country between the Yellowstone and the Little Bighorn.[67] Custer rated speed in gaining the battlefield as essential and more important. The additional firepower had the potential of turning the tide of the fight, given the Indians' propensity for withdrawing in the face of new military technology.[citation needed] Other Custer supporters[who?] have claimed that splitting the forces was a standard tactic, so as to demoralize the enemy with the appearance of the cavalry in different places all at once, especially when a contingent threatened the line of retreat.

The single indisputable fact is that Custer's tactical decisions, against an overwhelming and numerically superior adversary, led to the annihilation of his command and his own death. [edit] Monuments and memorials Custer Memorial at his birthplace in New Rumley, Ohio Monroe, Michigan, Custer's childhood home, unveiled the George Armstrong Custer Equestrian Monument in 1910.

See also ›iography portal United States Army portal šmerican Civil War portal

External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to: George Armstrong Custer

Brevet Major General, US Army, Civil War. Lieutenant Colonel, 7th US Cavalry, died at the Battle of Little Big Horn.


Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer (1839-1876)

George Armstrong Custer

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

George Armstrong Custer was born December 5, 1839 in New Rumley, Ohio. He attended the Military Academy at West Point and graduated last in his class in 1861. During the Civil War, Custer rose rapidly through the ranks, participating in many battles in the Eastern Theatre. At the age of 23 year he was promoted to Brigadier General, thus making him the youngest general at that time.

After the Civil War, Custer spent military duties in the south before being appointed a lieutenant colonel in charge of the newly formed 7th US Cavalry. Custer was assigned postings in Kansas, and his 7th US Cavalry participated in the ill-fated Hancock expedition in the spring of 1867, looking for Cheyenne and Lakota warriors. During the summer of that year, his regiment faced problems with desertion and Custer - ever the disciplinarian, used harsh measures. During one instance, he gave the order to shoot down deserters, and initially refused to give the survivors medical treatment. For Custer, the second major event that summer was when he left his assigned post without orders - by all accounts to be with his wife Libbie. Custer was promptly arrested and “charged with absence without leave, conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline, and the unmerciful treatment of deserters." During his court-martial in October of 1867, he was found guilty on all charges and sentenced with suspension of rank and pay for one year.

While Custer was still completing his sentence, new plans were being developed for a winter campaign against the Southern Plains Indian tribes. On September 24, 1868, two months before his sentence was up, Custer was reinstated to command the 7th US Cavalry once again by General Phillip Sheridan with orders to find and attack the villages of Cheyenne Dog Soldiers. On November 12, 1868, Custer and a combined group of infantry and cavalry (including the 7th US Cavalry) left Fort Dodge, Kansas and travelled south to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) where they established a supply base. After spending eleven days there they marched for three days, and on the 26th of November Custer’s Osage Scouts discovered a trail in the snow leading to the village of Black Kettle and his mostly peaceful Cheyennes.

The consequent attack on the village at dawn on November 27th, 1868, would be known as the Battle of the Washita. While the attack was taking place, Custer’s Chief Scout Ben Clark informed Custer that Captain Myers’ command was killing women and children without mercy, which caused Custer to order a stop to the killing of women and children. The attack on the camp lasted less than thirty minutes, but by now Custer was becoming increasingly aware that he was being surrounded by a large force of Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Kiowa warriors. Custer and his regiment were able to extract themselves from the predicament later that day, taking with them the Cheyenne women and children as captives.

Two important controversies followed Custer after the Washita attack. First was the death of the Cheyenne peace chief Black Kettle, who was killed in the village, along with other peaceful Cheyennes. Second was the supposed abandonment of Major Joel Elliott and his men during the attack, who were cut off and killed. This would follow Custer to his doom eight years later at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. In the ensuing years after 1868, Custer found himself staying busy by leading hunting parties with such celebrities as the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, Buffalo Bill Cody, and even General Philip Sheridan. In this time Custer wrote his most famous work, My Life on the Plains, which was first published as a series of articles for the magazine The Galaxy and made into a book. In 1873 he and his regiment participated in General Stanley's Yellowstone expedition, and the following year in an expedition to the Black Hills of present-day South Dakota.

On June 25th, 1876, Custer finally met his demise at the hands of Lakota and Cheyenne warriors in Montana Territory, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Greene, Jerome A. Washita: the U.S. Army and the Southern Cheyennes, 1867-1869.
Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2004. (pgs. 32-33, 72-73, 79-81, 116-128, 127-128, 193)

Frost, Lawrence A. The Court-Martial of General George Armstrong Custer.
Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968. (pgs. 81, 88-89, 99-100, 245-246)

Hardorff, Richard. Washita Memories: Eyewitness Views of Custer's Attack on Black Kettle's Village.
Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008. (pgs. 9-13, 15-18, 23-24, 27-28, 58-95, 198)


Explore

On November 27, 1868, famed U.S. Army officer Lt. Col. George A. Custer led an attack against the Southern Cheyenne village of Chief Black Kettle in the Battle of the Washita. Custer was born on December 5, 1839, in Harrison County, Ohio, and his only career was that of soldier. After the Civil War he became lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Seventh U.S. Cavalry.

After an unsuccessful campaign against the Cheyenne in 1867, the army planned a winter assault when the Indians were vulnerable. Leaving from near Fort Dodge, Kansas, on November 12, 1868, Custer escorted his troops to Camp Supply in Indian Territory. At dawn on November 27 he led the Seventh against Black Kettle's camp of some 250 Cheyenne along the Washita River. In the chaos that followed, an undetermined number of Cheyenne, including Black Kettle, and twenty-two soldiers were killed. Custer died in the Battle of the Little Big Horn on June 25, 1876.

Bibliography

George Armstrong Custer, My Life on the Plains or, Personal Experience with Indians (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1962).

Stan Hoig, The Battle of the Washita: The Sheridan-Custer Indian Campaign of 1867–69 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1976).

Robert M. Utley, Cavalier in Buckskin: George Armstrong Custer and the Western Military Frontier (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1988).

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Stephen Black, &ldquoCuster, George Armstrong,&rdquo The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=CU011.

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In 1839, in the year that George Armstrong Custer was born, the "Night of the Big Wind" hit Ireland on January 6th. It was the most damaging cyclone to hit Ireland in 300 years. In North Dublin, around 20% to 25% of homes were damaged or destroyed, and 42 ships were wrecked. Winds hit over 115 miles per hour.

In 1845, George was just 6 years old when on September 9th, a potato blight began in Ireland, leading to the Great Famine - also called the Great Hunger and the Irish Potato Famine. About one-third of the population of Ireland had been dependent on the potato and the failure of potato crops led to a million people dying and the emigration of another million people.

In 1859, when he was 20 years old, on April 25th, the Suez Canal Company began construction of the Suez Canal. It took 10 years to complete the canal.

In 1865, at the age of 26 years old, George was alive when on September 26th, Champ Ferguson, a Confederate guerrilla, became the first person to be convicted of war crimes arising from the Civil War. (There was only one other person convicted of war crimes in the Civil War.) He was found guilty by a U.S. Army tribunal on 23 charges arising from the murder of 53 people. On October 20, he was hung.

In 1876, in the year of George Armstrong Custer's passing, on June 4th, the Transcontinental Express - an express train - arrived in San Francisco, using the 7 year old transcontinental railroad line. It took 83 hours and 39 minutes from New York City - about 3.5 days - to cross the country.


Custer, George A. (George Armstrong), 1839-1876

Attorney. Notebooks of memoirs by Homer W. Wheeler, describing his life as an Army Scout broadsides, newspapers, and handbills regarding the settlement of Kansas along with a wide variety of other documents collected by Farley and relating the the Civil War, settlement of Kansas, Indian battles on the Great Plains with an emphasis on Kansas, and on the history of the American West in general. Also included is one of the two known copies of the "Siwinowe Kesibwi" (Shawnee Sun) newspaper (1841).

C. A. Dill Collection

Collector. Typescript of a journal, supposedly by an officer on General George A. Custer's staff of the 7th Cavalry, Lt. P.U. Hardman, recounting the Battle of the Washita from the time of the Osage scouts' reconnaissance to the departure of the Cheyenne prisoners for Fort Supply. The journal, along with a discussion of the author's true identity, is published in the "Chronicles of Oklahoma" 36: 371-410 (Winter 1958).

Emmett Caldwell Searcy Collection

Businessman. Correspondence (1902) and manuscripts regarding the Red Moon Indian Boarding School for Cheyenne-Arapaho Indians musical scores by Mrs. Kate Searcy publications by temperance societies items from the World's Fairs of 1893 and 1904 correspondence (1933-1934) from a veteran of the Battle of the Washita of 1868 describing General Custer's role and the conflict in general and textbooks (1832-1866).

Fannie M. Townsend Hair Collection

Collector. Newspaper clippings (1901) certificates (1901-1911) from the United States Land Office, Lawton, Oklahoma and a manuscript (n.d.) written by Fannie Townsend Hair concerning the naming and route of the Chisholm Trail in Oklahoma, with comments by Edwin C. McReynolds.

Frank Phillips Photograph Collection

Noah Hamilton Rose Photograph Collection

Norman W. Brillhart Collection

Robert Utley papers

Tonkawa Public Library Collection

Typescripts of interviews and news articles with pioneers and army officers from the area around present-day Tonkawa, Oklahoma, regarding U.S. Army operations, Indians, and the settlement of the region. Tonkawa Public Library Photograph Collection also in repository.

Walter Stanley Campbell Collection

Author and professor. Personal correspondence (1897-1957) correspondence with Campbell's relatives (1822-1896) correspondence with publishers and literary agents (1920-1958) literary manuscripts (ca. 1914-1957) diaries, notebooks, and journals (1901-1926) and business papers (ca. 1925-1959) regarding Campbell's writings on the West, Indians, and Oklahoma, with emphasis on transportation, fortifications, cowboys, wars and battles, criminals and outlaws, and Indian chiefs, along with original Indian art by Carl Sweezy. Walter Stanley Campbell Photograph Collection also in repository.


Watch the video: ᴴᴰ General Custer, eine amerikanische Legende - Doku24HD (July 2022).


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